Updated 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Airbnb flourishes in Rio due to Olympics

With prices for hotel rooms circling $600 a night, and most of the tourist sites in the city already topped up on travelers, Rio’s citizens have stepped up to fill the voids where they come up, and they’ve done so through popular crowd-source lodging app Airbnb.

The number of listings in the city now exceeds 40,000, twice the amount available last year, which shows just how much Brazilian citizens have taken advantage of the tourist influx generated by the games.

Rooms through Airbnb are not only generally cheaper, but also offer travelers experiences unobtainable through the average hotel, most notably connections with Brazilian homeowners and a more authentic feel for local customs.

What is perhaps more beneficial from this surge in popularity is the fact that the dollars in tourists’ pockets are being distributed more equally, if even just a little.

Since the vast amount of Rio’s 12 million inhabitants live in areas away from the tourist spots -where most of the wealth triggered by the games is concentrated- travelers are then being encouraged to spend their money in areas that otherwise would have seen no considerable advantage in the city’s decision to host the games.

It is estimated that the total income generated by local hosts during the Olympic Games will close up on $25 million, a large amount by any standard.

Airbnb hosts in Rio are keen to keep the income rolling in, consequently they have bumped up prices considerably. Currently, Rio boasts the most expensive average room price in the world, topping Miami and San Francisco. It’s no surprise, since the city is expecting 66,000 guests through the lodging app, half of them local and the other half coming from abroad.